The NHL Game Breakdown keeps on keeping on here on DraftKings. We take an in-depth look at all of the games on the schedule each day in terms of expected pace of play, Vegas lines, and defense vs. position match ups. Friday offers up a half dozen games to try and make some money off of.

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Injury Updates

The news is coming in as always but there will be updates on Twitter because of the nature of this Friday slate. Please note to watch out for the flu of all things. Let’s continue.

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Blue Jackets @ Devils

Game Analysis

This is the hardest game to get any kind of read on. Brandon Dubinsky will be back for Columbus after missing time with a concussion. He does stamp a physical presence on this game. David Clarkson is likely out for the season after tearing an oblique muscle against New Jersey last week. Sergei Bobrovsky will be on the beat for Columbus up against one of the hottest goalies in the league in Cory Schneider. This really has the potential to be quite the goalie duel. Columbus comes in losers of seven straight games while New Jersey has finally hit .500 after all those blunders. The reality is the Devils special teams will get better and the team as well with Damon Severson back in the lineup. His timing will still be a work in progress but that will come. That is the key for New Jersey. Their young defense will not have a chance to come together over the last portion of the season. The Blue Jackets give up nearly three goals a game on the road and New Jersey has scored three goals twice against them this season. It almost seems like that is going to happen one more time. Michael Cammalleri is still riding high and his shot selection is partially why his shooting percentage is so high now can some other Devils get it in gear? That is the question. For Columbus, watch out for that first line and Brandon Dubinsky.

Money Line: NJ -150, O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Ryan Johansen, C, Blue Jackets ($6800)
  • Sergei Bobrovsky, G, Blue Jackets ($7600)
  • Cory Schneider, G, Devils ($9000)
  • Michael Cammalleri, LW, Devils ($7300)

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Wild @ Hurricanes

Game Analysis

These teams both love to possess the puck but Minnesota is probably better at it since they have had a little more experience playing this way. That being said, the Hurricanes know they are facing one of the hotter teams out there. The wrinkle is it looks like Darcy Kuemper will start for Minnesota which instantly had bookies in a state of glee for Carolina. It is hard not to blame them given how Kuemper was playing. Now he will be behind a team with a considerable amount of confidence and a team who just defeated the Caps in Washington last night. The special teams battle will be fun because both teams are incredible on the penalty kill so that will likely be a wash. It was not automatically known who would be in net for Carolina but it looks like Cam Ward is the probable. Low scoring games are paramount here and part of that has to do with how inconsistent the Hurricanes are when scoring at home (2.18 GFPG, 2.00 GAPG). Can Zach Parise lead Minnesota over a team that kind of plays like itself? This may be one where you go goaltending and another option or two then that’s it.

Line: Canes -140. O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Zach Parise, LW, Wild ($6900)
  • Thomas Vanek, LW, Wild ($4300)
  • Justin Faulk, D, Canes ($6200)
  • Jeff Skinner, LW, Canes ($6400)

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Sabres @ Senators

Game Analysis

The game has an odd feel because honestly Buffalo and Ottawa usually play some pretty ugly and murky games. However, Ottawa and Andrew Hammond have brought themselves up into the forefront of the playoff bubble. They can see Boston and it is getting closer and closer. Does Craig Anderson finally play tonight? Wouldn’t it be the perfect game for him? Ottawa has been stingy as hell, giving up only five goals in their last five games. Buffalo scores less than two goals a game on the season. The season matches have been closer at times but ultimately Ottawa finds a way to win. The Sabres have little left and the goaltending does not inspire much either. Honestly they are DFS irrelevant for this game but even Zach Bogosian might be worth playing if you are desperate. Other than that, watch for the status of Mike Hoffman who broke his nose last game out and spewed a fountain full of blood. It looked nastier than it really was but still. Hoffman is one of those young Ottawa guns that are vital to their success. Expect Erik Karlsson to be able to skate at will and generate many chances once again.

Line: Sens -300 . O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Zach Bogosian, D, Sabres ($4200)
  • Matt Moulson, LW, Sabres ($4800)
  • Kyle Turris, C, Sens ($6000)
  • Erik Karlsson, D, Sens ($8000)

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Flames @ Red Wings

Game Analysis

Hey Kris Russell meet the daily fantasy hockey world again! The Calgary defenseman has a whopping 23 blocked shots in his last two games. People forget that when he had the power play ice time, Russell was very effective at passing the puck in tight spaces. That could serve him well against Detroit, who tries to constrict the opponent on the penalty kill. Fast puck movement does make Detroit vulnerable. Can the Flames keep winning without Mark Giordano? They seem hellbent on proving this. Will it be Kari Ramo or Jonas Hiller in net? That will have to probably wait until warm-ups. Calgary has the speed to cause Detroit fits but the Red Wings have that number one power play and new defenseman Marek Zidlicky. Puck movement and not speed will be Detroit’s best weapon against an overactive Calgary team. The Flames are on the back end of back to backs and literally that should lead itself to an extra Red Wings goal, maybe two. If you think about it, Detroit has a more balanced team than we often realize and that counts for something on a night like this. Expect Datsyuk and Zetterberg to lead the way.

Line: Wings -200, O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Sean Monahan, C, Flames ($5100)
  • Kris Russell, D, Flames ($4000)
  • Gustav Nyquist, RW, Wings ($4900)
  • Jimmy Howard, G, Wings ($7800)

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%{color:#FF6C00; font-size:14pt}*Oilers @ Blackhawks*%en

Game Analysis

I was looking at this and humming the theme of “Chelsea Dagger” all the way through. Chicago knows what it has to do but can it execute consistently. That answer is honestly no but against Edmonton, their 80% should be enough. The Blackhawks penalty kill is still plenty good but the power play is even worse without Patrick Kane and that has to change. Everything has been affected with the loss of Kane but there were some signs that Chicago was starting to adapt against Carolina. If they do much of the same against Edmonton and just let the game come to them, expect the same sort of result. The only chance the Oilers have is to play the game in pure chaos. Push the pace anytime and every time. It won’t be easy because of the roster but Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins have to lead the way because the Oilers will most assuredly give up at least three goals anyway. Corey Crawford is the expected starter for Chicago while we await who starts for Edmonton. Again, Chicago must learn that they are not the same team that won two Stanley Cups. They must keep adapting and play their way.

Line: Blackhawks -320, O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Jordan Eberle, RW, Oilers ($5200)
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C, Oilers ($4800)
  • Jonathan Toews, C, Hawks ($8000)
  • Corey Crawford, G, Hawks ($8600)

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Penguins @ Ducks

Game Analysis

This is where you get the feeling that either the gods must be crazy or it will wind up being a low scoring but still somewhat high event game. These two teams should develop a pretty good animosity rather quickly. It does appear that Evgeni Malkin is the hottest center in Pittsburgh once again. No one should be surprised by that. Sidney Crosby cannot score goals like he used to and against Anaheim, Malkin’s skill set is probably the player that could drive Anaheim the craziest. That is why they play the game though. Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry must assert themselves to have a seat at the table basically. Marc-Andre Fleury versus Frederik Andersen is the match-up and it could be lots of fun. Both goalies have been very good this season. Andersen has 50 wins in just 68 career starts by the way. That is quite impressive but he is going to need all of his skills and reflexes to slow down Pittsburgh’s dynamic attack which has returned. This game has the look of an entertaining 3-2 result with 30+ shots by both teams. However, both teams have been even stingier with the under hitting in Pittsburgh’s last three games and the fact that they combine to have allowed only 20 goals over their last five games. Hmmmm. The first 20 minutes of this game will be a gateway to how the rest of it will go.

Line: Ducks -135, O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Patric Hornqvist, RW, Pens ($8700)
  • Evgeni Malkin, C, Pens ($9100)
  • Cam Fowler, D, Ducks ($4100)
  • Ryan Getzlaf, C, Ducks ($7900)

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